PMC Bank: Misar named EOW's counsel

Mumbai: Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Ajay Misar, who had represented in the Malegaon blast case of 2008, has been appointed by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) as counsel in the Rs 4,355 crore

Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank scam case.

A senior EOW official told FPJ that the appointment of the high-profile government pleader was sought keeping in mind the importance of the scam investigation, which had brought the bank to the

verge of bankruptcy and rendered lakhs of hapless depositors from across six states scurrying for their lifelong savings. "We don't want to take any chances in ensuring justice to the millions of depositors," the official added.

The official said that Misar would be assisting the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that has been constituted to investigate the scam in various capacities. "His (Misar's) help would be sought in

collecting and adding evidence that will help bolster the case against the accused. He will also be playing a crucial role in preparing the charge sheet in the complex case," the officer said adding that the agency is planning to submit the charge sheet by the last week of December 2019.

Apart from the Malegaon blast probe of 2008, where he had assisted former SPP Rohini Salian, Misar had also represented the government in advocate Shahid Azmi murder case. His x-category security was stepped up in 2015 after the state government was tipped off about a conspiracy being hatched inside a Nashik prison to stage an attack on him.

On the agency's plan to plead for fast-tracking the case's trial, the officer said,"It is for the government to make the submission."

In the on-going probe, EOW has so far arrested five persons, including the Managing Director of the bank (Joy Thomas), one of the directors (Surjit Singh Arora) and the promoters of HDIL (Rakesh and

Sarang Wadhwan). The officer also hinted of some more arrests in the case, especially from among the remaining 11 members of the bank's board, who had knowledge of the scam but failed to report it.

EOW has also asked the RBI-appointed administrator of the bank, JB Bhoria, to facilitate the process to auction collaterals of over Rs 3,500 crore that had been pledged by HDIL to PMC Bank against the borrowals. This will help to infuse liquidity into the cash-strapped bank and also help the ordinary depositors to withdraw their savings.

The papers pertaining to the collateral had been seized by the EOW during searches conducted at the bank's premises. The total exposure of the bank to HDIL is said to be around Rs 6,600 crore.

Arora, who had been arrested last Thursday, would be produced in the court on Tuesday following the culmination of his remand in the EOW custody.

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